Eight hugs a Day

Evening friends.  Spent the afternoon enjoying the company of friends and family.  Including enjoying a lecture from the “love doctor,” Paul Zak PhD.  Dr. Zak gave us a practice run on his upcoming lecture for TED in Scotland.  He told us about the amazing hormone, oxytocin, which Dr. Zak tells us is the morality hormone.  It increases any time we have increased social connection.  Oxytocin makes people trust, empathize and have increased moral behaviors.  Dr. Zak’s prescription is eight hugs a day (hugs increase oxytocin).  Awesome.

If it Matters to You, Even The Hot Shots Say, SELF-CARE BEGINS AND ENDS WITH ME

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Self-Care Tip #220 – Take your freedom and be good to yourself.

Free-will keeps cropping creeping climbing clambering up with us.  Go figure.  As usual, Carl pushed buttons and inspired me to remember the lovely word “self-government.”  I was so delighted that not only does the term self-government say it so well, but I felt like I was the first to come up with it.  Then I googled around and found Webster, many countries (possibly yours,) and even our own constitution of the United States (“We the people…”) might have wrinkled time and stolen it from me before I even thought of it (See Einstein and the Fabric of Time.)  Can you believe that!

While calming my unappreciated self, I ran across like-minded David Rigoni’s splendid work at the University of Marseille.  (After reading this, I’m sure he will delight in hearing us named, “like-minded.”)  Dr. Rigoni says,

Folk psychology tells us if you feel in control, you perform better.  What is crucial is that these effects are present at a very basic motor level, a deep level of brain activity.

He and his team studied thirty people over different tasks, using different mediums of examination and deduced that it is better to believe.

If we are not free it makes no sense to put effort into actions and to be motivated.

Dr. Rigoni’s work reminded me of the work of MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung.  Some time ago, Dr. Seung gave a wonderful TED conference,

I am my connectome.

Dr. Seung tells us the good news that we are more than our genes.  The connections among neurons are where memories and experiences get stored – not in the genome.

My pleasure grew when I read about the collaborative work from a few schools we’ve heard of – see NYU news.  ….Apparently goals and habits show overlapping neurological mechanisms.

This is all very exciting to our self-government.  I’m sure that we the people would hate to find out that all this time we’ve demanded our freedom – it wasn’t even possible.  But it is – even per the hot-shots of the world. The sophisticated and unsophisticated, in paradigms of thought, Time and Timelessness, learning, beliefs and feelings, in my country and in yours – we continue comfortably and with confidence to say, SELF-CARE BEGINS AND ENDS WITH ME.  (See Ghettysburg Address.)

Questions:  When have you found yourself unable to claim your freedom to be friendly with yourself?  How have you managed to cross the barriers you perceived around yourself or others?  What would you like to tell Carl or Carl?  Please tell us your story.

Choose Well, What You Will Live For

Self-Care Tip #96 – Choose well, what you will live for.

Yesterday we discussed finding our reference point for why we do what we do.  All day today I found my thoughts returning there and had to spend another blog-post-opportunity on it’s “friendliness.”  I was happy to find that I was not the only one when I got a reader‘s response:

I’m still coming out of the fog of doing anything for survival-as-a-habit.  As in, being in panicked survival mode even when all is calm and safe–that is no way to live, any dog knows better than to live like that.

I contrast her response with my colleague’s:

The intentions of any life is self-serving.  Altruism doesn’t exist except in God, (which I accede not to understand), and people can’t rise above their own genetics.

Now this man is the kindest, sweetest, most generous man you’d ever meet and he doesn’t say these things with any meanness, anger towards a past offense, or to turn people from God.

However, contrast his take on our reference point in life with the reader’s above.  She talks about her choice.  Can a choice transcend our genetics?

You may remember some of a previous post mentioning the work of MIT neuroscientist, Sebastian Seung. His research tells us that memories are stored in our neurons and not in our genes.  Eg. Habits are memories and not genetic therefore not permanent.

There is an interplay between choice and genetics.  YES!!@!!  We aren’t robots!  😉  Nor are we a picture without a frame.  We so often don’t think about all the good that our genetics do for our lives.  There’s just so much talk about how we fight our genetics.  We have been given both a design and free choice.  Of course we can’t change our design, but as our reader later said so well:

For some people it is a process just to ask “why am I doing this?” … AND actually ask that question to themselves. (man-o-man the times I have asked everyone else why I was doing something) Maybe it will take sometime for an answer to come, but asking means we are on our way!

Choice is the gift from God that the apple and the serpent and thousands, or billions of years (what ever is true) can’t take away from us.  Only you can.

Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  Where are you in process between your choice and your design?  Is the interplay one that is smooth or rocky for you?  Please tell me your story

Believe What You Say! It Might Make a Difference.

If you want to get passionate about something, You have to believe it.  Many people speak it, read it, plan on it, but they don’t believe it.  Do you?  Do you believe that you can actually start doing what you want to do, feeling what you want to feel, become who you want to be?

And how bout the opposite?  Too many of us quietly or loudly hold our negative patterns.  A Heathcliff with Catherine scenario in Bronte‘s Wuthering Heights – slowly bringing on our own demise.  Reminds me of the mistletoe, a parasite on it’s host but accepted and beloved nonetheless.

MIT neuroscientist Sebastian Seung gave a wonderful TED conference, “I am my connectome.”  He tells us the good news that we are more than our genes. Our memories are not “stored” in our genes.  They live amongst the neuronal connections.  He empowers us saying that because we can change our neuronal connections, we can change our behaviors and habits – which are based on neuronal memory (indian trails.)  You see, because our habits are really memories ground into the fiber of our minds, and not into the constitution of our matter, we can make different ones.

Wow!

We may not have pixie dust or elf stones, but we do have power.  We can stop, drop and roll! to that destruction in our lives.  We can be friendly with ourselves at any level of our beings – neuronal to behavioral and emotional.  Mr. Seung, that is great news!

Self Care Tip #70 – If you are going to do it, have courage and believe it!  Be a friend to yourself.

Question:  What do you think?  Please tell me your story.